Gorilla Shot at Cincinnati Zoo After Child Falls Into Enclosure

by Jared Lewis May 31, 2016, 15:26

Jack Hanna, the host of TV series Jack Hanna's Into The Wild and director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, backed the zoo's decision.

"It's a sad day all the way around", Maynard said. "I don't want to blame the parents".

He said he saw footage of the gorilla jerking the boy through the moat and knew what would happen if the primate was not killed. But this much became clear Monday: A planned expansion of the exhibit will move ahead, and the gorilla's lineage will not die.

Hanna is also the director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Photo via Reuters Protesters for slain gorilla Harambe at Cincinnati Zoo.

Thane Maynard told reporters on Monday that the 4-year-old boy's life was in danger.

He also said if the child had been properly supervised, there wouldn't be a need to even have the conversation.

The boy survived without serious injuries, but the death of the gorilla - Harambe, a member of an endangered species, who had turned 17 one day earlier - led to public outrage and criticism from animal rights groups. "The trouble with barriers is that whatever the barrier some people can get past it...."

A 4-year-old boy climbed over the barrier, through the bushes and fell into the moat within the animal's enclosure. "Western lowland gorillas are gentle animals".

Maynard acknowledges the situation is "very emotional". He says, "Not everyone shares the same opinion and that's OK".

Tate adds: "We have keepers and veterinarian staff that are trained for darting animals with chemical immobilization".

Michelle Gregg, who identified herself on Facebook as the boy's mother, said her son was recovering from a concussion and a few scrapes.

As seen in a video captured by terrified onlookers, the inhabitant of the enclosure, theĀ 180-kilogram 17-year-old Western Lowland gorilla named Harambe, grabbed the boy and dragged him by the ankle for several meters.

"That's important for our long-term breeding program and gorilla conservation", Maynard said.

"We extend our heartfelt thanks for the quick action by the Cincinnati Zoo staff. We know that this was a very hard decision for themĀ and that they are grieving the loss of their gorilla", the family said. He spoke Monday about his relationship with Harambe.

Maynard talked about what the death of the gorilla will mean for the zoo.

Zoo officials rushed to respond.

Others called for a Harambe memorial to be built, and for people to boycott the zoo.

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